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Walmart and Cruise Team Up on Robo-Delivery Service

The streets of Arizona are getting crowded with self-driving cars
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Walmart

· less than 3 min read

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Cruise and Walmart have become self-driving pals. On Monday, the pals said they’ll launch a robo-delivery service early next year in Scottsdale, AZ. The streets of Arizona sure are getting crowded with self-driving cars.

How it works: A customer can place an online order for groceries or products from their nearest store. Electric, autonomous Cruise vehicles will take goods from store to doorstep, supervised by safety drivers.

Fortune 500 fun

You typically see startups or Big Tech talking up driverless vehicle deployments. This time around, it’s the buttoned-up household names of corporate America: Walmart, best known for its big-box superstores, and General Motors, a legacy automaker with majority ownership in Cruise.

  • While we’re here: Cruise recently received a license to test fully driverless cars on public roads in California. It plans to use it for its five vehicles in San Francisco.

Walmart hasn’t put all its eggs in one tech provider basket. When it comes to futuristic transportation modalities….

  • The retail giant has struck self-driving partnerships with Cruise, Nuro, Udelv, Ford, and Waymo.
  • On the aerial delivery front, it’s also running drone delivery pilots with multiple companies. In September, Walmart announced it was partnering with drone unicorn Zipline, and it’s also involved with Flytrex and DroneUp.

Not all of Walmart’s emerging tech ventures pan out. The company recently nixed a partnership with a startup that provides shelf-scanning robots.

*Obligatory Amazon comparison*

Amazon is, obviously, skilled at rolling out robots and software that power its e-commerce business. Walmart is working on it. Both are also incubating new brick-and-mortar technologies, like autonomous checkout.

Advantage Walmart: The retailer has thousands of stores and fulfilment centers across the U.S. They’d sure be fantastic hubs for last-mile delivery drone and self-driving networks.

+ Stay tuned for more on e-commerce dropping soon from us. Hint: It’s an Emerging Tech Brew-Retail Brew collab. 🤝

Stay up to date on emerging tech

Drones, automation, AI, and more. The technologies that will shape the future of business, all in one newsletter.